Electric cars and grey Duncan

Heading back up to London in no particular hurry, I stopped at a car wash to give Bergman a good clean-up.

He’s had nothing for months, through all the red dust. Turns out he’s taken a couple of hits, which I hadn’t noticed until he was shiny. That’s London for you. Likely drunk people in Chelsea attempting to parallel park. I’m going to sell him before long as he’s too costly for fuel and regarding capacity I tend to use a van anyway for haulage jobs, so I’ll probably need to find a toucherer-upper. I like him, he’s big and comfy and safe. But he is way too costly to run for me and for the planet, particularly back and forth to Brighton. And you only need and want a half decent car in London really. Just one that is compliant to all the new driving taxes.

I’m not really wanting to get a fully electric car as I think they are short sighted and will create a mess of needs. Everybody will have to upgrade their charging jacks every few years once enough people have them, just as we discovered we had to do with mobile phones once they were adopted. The batteries will get worse and worse as batteries always do. We will end up with chemicals seeping into the mud underneath millions of dead batteries with no infrastructure at all to dispose of them that doesn’t involve cost to the buyer. Millions of people bitter that they wasted so much money on something that has become totally worthless. It’s being implemented too quickly and without thought, the rollout. It’s gonna be a disaster. I’m not fighting against change here. I’ve just had a lifetime of observing short-termism. Ever bricked a phone, or an iPad or iPod etc? I bet most if you have. Electric cars will be a bigger brick that you can’t just put in a drawer and forget about. There’ll be dead ones everywhere and the chemical mess will be much more expensive. And nobody will want to take them for parts if the bulk of them is a fucked battery. Manufacturers and governments need to be thinking now about end of life or renewal for these things. They aren’t. They’ll be more profitable is we have to just dispose of them. We still have functional mechanical cars that are over 100 years old. Electric cars really don’t feel like they’re built to last long. I’m really not sold. Software updates, hardware adjustments, battery degradation… Nah. It’s not well enough thought through despite the shine.

I reached the city, looked around for some bits for my friend, and eventually ended up back up at the flat from the other day, cleaning things and sorting things and throwing things away for her. We are getting there, but it’s a terrible rush suddenly. Still so much lifetime paraphernalia to check through. We can make it shinier on the outside but we have to get right into the mix to really make sense of it all. For every twelve old copies of the Sun there’s one irreplaceable photo of her racing dad in an old motor car or somesuch. They remind me so strongly of the photos of my dad from that era – you haven’t got a clue who it is with the googles and helmet unless you have it written down underneath. It’s just a great big car with a number and some dude in it. It’s like the photo I found online of dad racing dragsters in like 1956. I had some tit called Duncan working as location manager on a film shoot I was helping fix once and he decided to shed suspicion on dad – and everything I said generally. It was when I was looking after Hex. He thought that the snake was an invention too. Dad is not easy to find online, but I dug for the dragster photo and of course he came back with “It just says his name in the caption. How do you know it’s him?” I told him because I had always known, and suggested that maybe just because he has always striven to the ordinary doesn’t mean that everybody does the same. I kind of love to see these black and white photos of my father and my friend’s father in their racing cars – even though they are black and white they have more colour than the likes of Duncan will ever have.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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